Initial jobless claims last week were 216,000. This is average for the past 18 months. As of this week, the four week average is 8.6% above its recent low:
and at 218,750, is only 250, or -0.1%, lower than this week last year:
This remains positive.
Last July, initial claims averaged 215,250 (red). Through the first two weeks, it is 212,000 this year (blue), which is also positive:
So this too remains positive.
Finally, let’s compare the YoY% change in initial claims (blue) with continuing claims (red):
Comparisons have been getting closer to crossing the threshold from lower to higher, but this week moved lower to -3.8% YoY. A longer term view shows that - so far - this is most consistent with the 1984, 1994, and 1996 slowdowns, and not a recession: